[NOTE to followers of this blog: I am devoting this posting mainly to California voters for obvious reasons - do come back again and there will be articles of more general interest.]
The California legislatures dominated by Democrats and disappointing governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have made an enormous mess of state finances. This is especially ironic in the case of muscleman Schwarzenegger because he was elected in a special election to replace former governor Gray Davis because Davis mucked up California finances; the terminator said he was going to fix everything and naïve Republicans believed him because he ran with an ”R” next to his name.
After starting with a budget deficit of over $40 billion dollars, Arnold and Co. reduced the deficit by getting Obama bailout money but still remained with a deficit exceeding $16 billion and a “budget crisis.” [Democrats love the word “crisis”; they can’t let one go to waste, in the words of Rahm ‘Thug’ Emanuel and slippery Hillary Clinton.] Not to worry, the legislature has come up with a series of mislabeled, and falsely described, propositions identified as “1A” through “1F” for the May 19th ballot.
The key proposition is “1A.” This proposition if approved would ratify a deal made by Democrats with the governator to “solve” the crisis (for this year) with the largest TAX INCREASE, $16 billion, in California’s history. Even if you are sick of mind and like tax increases, you may not like this one because it will cost a typical California family over $1,600 per year.
Of course in the current climate of Democrat Orwellian “double speak”, Proposition 1A is promoted as a “spending limit” or “cap.” The alleged purpose of the “cap” is to put the legislature on a money diet so they will not overspend; but this is like asking an alcoholic not to over drink.
The wool Democrats and Schwarzenegger pull over voters’ eyes is what they assert is a spending limit is phony because Proposition 1A adds a two-year extension of the massive tax increase that is supposed to expire in two years (thus making the tax increase last for four years). This additional language would double the damage to California tax payer budgets.
In another slight of hand that would make Houdini proud, Senate Democrats put pro-tax increase colleagues in charge of drafting the official ballot arguments – you know, the cheesy paper brochure you get in the mail that describes and discusses the ballot measures and also contains arguments for and against the propositions. By selecting pro tax increase senators for this job, arguments by anti-tax lawmakers Republican Senator Bob Dutton and Republican Assembly member Chuck Devore, as well as the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association were REJECTED for the brochure so arguments pointing out the TWO-YEAR EXTESION of the tax increases are not even mentioned anywhere in the official for and against arguments regarding proposition 1A. If you want more information about these issues, visit http://www.hjta.org/ – the Howard Jarvis web site.
Here are some things California voters should know about Proposition 1A:
The Democrat legislature and RINO governor will make California the highest taxed state in the country for at least the next two years.
Proposition 1A will extend these higher taxes for an additional two years costing taxpayers another $16 billion. The already-approved tax increase will cost a typical California family more than $1,100 each year.
We will also pay a higher car tax (remember Schwarzenegger ran on lowering the car tax to get elected).
There will be a reduction in tax credits for dependents which will cost California families $200 per child.
Under Proposition 1A every time taxes are raised the so-called spending limit can be adjusted upward.
Proposition 1A is not a budget reform as Democrats tout; it is a massive $16 billion tax increase.
Vote NO on Proposition 1A.
Propositions 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E are all companion propositions to Proposition 1A and should also be rejected by voters.
Proposition 1B would amend the California Constitution and REQUIRE that the state undertake a $9.3 billion “Supplemental Education Obligation.” This would become part of the base budget when writing and calculating the budget in all future years. (NOTE: no argument against this proposition appears in the brochure; I wonder why, do you?)
Vote NO on Proposition 1B
Proposition 1C supposed to “modernize the state lottery” but what it really does is to give the legislature the right to raid the lottery funds for general budgetary purposes and to make debt-service payments. The net result is that lottery funds will not be available for original education uses and other funds will have to be allocated, likely requiring still further increases in taxes.
Vote NO on Proposition 1C.
Proposition 1D will take away $1.6 billion from local health and education programs and give it to the Democrat legislature to spend as it will. County budgets are already hard hit by budget deficits due to reduced tax income in this harsh economic climate. Further reducing money available to County Supervisors as they struggle to make budget cuts is totally unnecessary; state Democrat legislators already spend too much money they don’t have.
Proposition 1D would reshuffle money for Mental Health Services and reduce money available to assist adults needing such services. In 2004 California voters passed Proposition 63 to make money available to rebuild California’s public mental health system. These programs have been shown to reduce homelessness, hospitalization and school placements and relieved financially strapped school districts and hospitals. This proposition would divert funds from Mental Health Services to the general fund, leaving less money to assist children and adults with mental health problems.
Vote NO on Proposition 1D
Most Republicans in the Assembly and Senate voted in favor of Proposition 1E but I personally oppose it on humanitarian grounds. Nothing is worse than suffering a mental health problem and not being able to receive some help.
Proposition 1F says no pay raises for Assemblymen and Senators when the California State Budget is at a deficit. This is a feel-good proposition for state voters. The point is why should the governor and other state politicians be able to vote themselves a raise when the state is running at a deficit – makes sense to me. But, does the state actually run at a deficit or does it find needed money to balance the budget somewhere, some how – either through issuing more bonds, raising taxes, or both?
I guess I will vote for Proposition 1F but I don’t really think it will make any difference. In any case, if our elected folks are in it for the money, it’s not salaries they will depend on.